Yesterday, my son turned 6 years old. His father and I are so happy that we managed to not only keep the little guy alive thus far, but also kept our sanity. We’ve made mistakes, but all in all he seems to be a good kid. Today, when I asked him to get dressed, he actually did. Later, when he came out of the bathroom, I asked him if he washed his hands. He said he did, but when I cocked my left eyebrow at him he immediately went back into the bathroom and washed his hands. (THAT was an awesome Mom-power moment.) Then at the playground, he was playing on the monkey bars and told the boy next to him that he was raised by apes. I really like this kid, even if he did just call me an ape.
There are times when I worry about his future. He’s always been obsessed with weapons and “bad guys.” Before he was born, I told my husband and my family, “No toy guns.” I had issues with violence of any kind and didn’t want my son to have guns. So he didn’t….at first. But when he was 2 years old, he made a gun out of a piece of bologna.
This kid was going to play with guns whether he got toy ones or not. That one particular moment made me realize that at least in his case, the nature vs nurture argument had already been settled. You might say, “Well, you still could have restricted his access to toy guns and ‘violent’ cartoons and maybe he wouldn’t have become obsessed with Star Wars or swords or every kind of weapon imaginable.” Maybe. But the one thing that being a parent has taught me is that what you may have intended or wanted for your child is not always possible. They are their own person. Each kid has his or her own personality and gifts and obsessions, and very often, you have no control over it.
I wanted my son for a long time before I could actually have him. And when I finally got him, I wanted to raise him to be the best person he could be, but also to make his own choices. I do often wish that he liked to run more or liked the sun as much as I do, but it’s not up to me to decide what he likes or doesn’t like. My husband and I will guide him to the best of our abilities, but in the end, he will choose what path is right for him. (Of course, if that path leads to living in my basement when he’s 30, then we may have to discuss other options.)
I still have a few more years to snuggle and hold my boy, and thankfully he still needs and wants me (well….most of the time). Last night, after we read our 4 books, my son turned to me and said, “Mom, I wish I could be a kid forever and you and Papa would stay adults forever.” When I asked him why he replied, “Because that way I’ll always have you.”
My heart broke just a little right then. I immediately kissed the boy’s cheek and held him for as long as he let me.
There are moments when I feel like these six years have passed by in a flash, and other times when it feels like a lifetime. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next six years will bring for my son….besides more lightsabers. 😉